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      Perceptions of Close Relationship Through the Machiavellians´ Dark Glasses: Negativity, Distrust, Self-Protection Against Risk and Dissatisfaction


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          It is commonly known from the literature that Machiavellian individuals have negative attitudes towards people and in general towards the world´s affairs. They are distrustful of the intentions of others, and they get cautiously involved into interpersonal interactions and take risks only if that may not have any severe negative consequence. It is also a fact that there are few ventures in life that potentially involve as much insecurity and personal vulnerability as the establishment and maintenance of close relationships. In our study, we were seeking the answer to the question: do people with high levels of Machiavellianism show a generally negative, distrustful and cautious attitude in their intimate relationships, as well? What effect their pessimistic approaches have on the other consequences of the relationship (satisfaction, commitment, investment, quality of alternatives)? This question was investigated on a dyadic sample of heterosexual couples (N = 101 pairs) with Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM). The results of the correlations and actor effects show that men with high levels of Machiavellianism perceive in a negative way not just people in general, but their romantic partners and relationships as well and they experience an increased level of distrust, risk, and dissatisfaction into their close relationships. Women with high levels of Machiavellianism are less negativistic and feel less discontent towards their intimate partner and relationship, but even they are unable to put their distrust and precaution aside. The results of partner effects have revealed that women's Machiavellianism undermines men's trust, while men's Machiavellianism has the effect of minimizing women's investment into their relationship.

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          Most cited references88

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          The Dark Triad of personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy

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            The need to belong: desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation.

            A hypothesized need to form and maintain strong, stable interpersonal relationships is evaluated in light of the empirical literature. The need is for frequent, nonaversive interactions within an ongoing relational bond. Consistent with the belongingness hypothesis, people form social attachments readily under most conditions and resist the dissolution of existing bonds. Belongingness appears to have multiple and strong effects on emotional patterns and on cognitive processes. Lack of attachments is linked to a variety of ill effects on health, adjustment, and well-being. Other evidence, such as that concerning satiation, substitution, and behavioral consequences, is likewise consistent with the hypothesized motivation. Several seeming counterexamples turned out not to disconfirm the hypothesis. Existing evidence supports the hypothesis that the need to belong is a powerful, fundamental, and extremely pervasive motivation.
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              Trust in close relationships.


                Author and article information

                Eur J Psychol
                Europe's Journal of Psychology
                Eur. J. Psychol.
                30 November 2018
                : 14
                : 4
                : 806-830
                [a ]Department of General and Evolutionary Psychology, University of Pécs , Pécs, Hungary
                [b ]Faculty of Health and Public Services, University of Semmelweis , Budapest, Hungary
                [c ]Independent researcher
                [d ]Department of Personality, Development and Clinical Psychology, University of Pécs , Pécs, Hungary
                [5]Department of Psychology, Webster University Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
                [6]Institute of Psychology, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland
                Author notes
                [* ]Robert-Blum-Str. 4, 60385 Frankfurt, Germany. tengertudat@ 123456gmail.com

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 3.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 24 October 2017
                : 30 April 2018
                Self URI (journal-page): https://journals.psychopen.eu/
                Research Reports

                negative attitudes,Machiavellianism,actor-partner effects,relationship dissatisfaction,self-protection,distrust


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